Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Making of Pesto

Free fresh basil.  Loads of free fresh basil.  What's a girl to do?  Well, first off, I had to make the high fat, high calorie, slap some cellulite on your butt, Lemon Basil Pasta.  I love that stuff.  In fact I earned a few more dimples from it.  So worth it.

Even after making the pasta dish, I still had a gallon ziplock bag full of basil.  It left me with one choice.  Make my first ever batch of pesto.  A little research on Pinterest, okay a LOT of research on Pinterest, led me to this recipe (except I used walnuts).  Funny how I searched on Pinterest and fell into the arms of my beloved...PW.
{via: Pioneer Woman}

I digress.

The point of this whole story is the process of making pesto.  It actually has nothing to do with the pesto, but what I had to do to get it.

Since I was making it from scratch I didn't want to just throw in bagged Parmesan cheese.  I purchased Parmesan cheese sold in the specialty cheese section and grated it myself.  It really wasn't that bad, especially with the hubbie's help, and I was able to have enough to fill a Mason Jar for later.

I have to say, I will NEVER go back to pre-grated Parmesan cheese ever.  The flavor doesn't even hold a candle to the hard block (or triangle).  The flavor and the smell.

After cleaning up all the appliances from the pesto and cheese grating, I cleaned the counters and washed my hands.  Even with all the cleaning, I still smelled something funky.  Really, really funky.  I couldn't figure it out.  It wasn't just in the kitchen.  It was everywhere I went.  Bathroom, bedroom, garage, car, EVERYWHERE.

Then I had to sneeze. I lifted my hand up to my nose and then it hit me.  Hit me like a fart in an elevator.  I about passed out.  The funk was on my hand.  It smelled like butt!  Despite all my hand washing, I could not get the smell out of my fingers.  Thankfully, friends on facebook came to the rescue and the same trick that worked for getting the garlic smell off my fingers worked for the booty smell.  A little bit of Dawn and stainless steel rid my fingers of the cheese.

So even though I will never buy package Parmesan cheese again, I refuse to live with a hand that smells like butt.  My resolution?  Buy stock in Dawn dish soap.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Week of Firsts

Besides Kindergarten, we had a great week of firsts for the kids.

Little Miss' First...

{Ballet and Tap}

Little Man's First...

{Flag Football}

Chubby Cheekers First...

You caught me.  This isn't a first.  I just HAD to throw in a pic of my baby cakes. 

Now, I realize I totally missed Menu Monday.  That was completely unintentional.  Mommy brain struck.  Honestly, we have some of our Chicago family coming to town on Wednesday so I'm not really sure what we'll be doing.  But I do know this, I'm on track for a no repeat meal for the month of August.  It really wasn't that hard to plan for.  Especially when family comes to town and they want to eat out ;)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Kindergarten...A Mom's View

It's hard.  Period.  Sending your child off to a big world to function outside of you is hard.  We've prayed and trust in the training we have put into him thus far, but you know what?  It's a long day for a five year old to be gone.  It's long day for a five year old to be exposed to kids who come from all kinds of backgrounds. It's a long day for a five year old to function away from the comfort of their home environment.  I know, kids do it all the time at younger ages, but your viewpoint really changes when you are a parent.  At least mine did.  Up until now, I only thought of school as a teacher.

Despite my feelings as a mom, Little Man has had a wonderful start to school outside of two moments that made me cry.

Moment #1:  He waited for an hour before I was able to get to him in the car pool line.  Even though I told him it would be a long, long wait, he still thought I left him.  Instantaneous tear fighting from this mama.

Moment #2:  Watching my boy scarf down his untouched sandwich from lunch when I picked him up.  He didn't have time to eat it.  Fighting back more tears.

Thankfully, the two moments above will get better, but it still hurts your heart.  Thankfully, he has an amazing teacher who he already loves.  Thankfully, he belongs to God and is protected, cared for, and loved.  Otherwise, this mama would put him a bubble.  Heck, I may do it long as I could go in that bubble with him and smooch his face off.  I just love this guy, and only want the absolute best for him.

Friday, August 24, 2012

WE Made It Through

I would have liked to give you the full report on Little Man's first day of Kindergarten, but I spent all my free time with Little Man, Little Miss, Chubby Cheekers and the Baby Daddy tonight.  Good time kissin' that boy until his face and my lips got chapped.  I'll give you the details next week.  Until then, here's my stud muffin and his awesome teacher.

And because I can't discriminate against my other cuties, here they are...

I had a friend who commented on this photo.  It cracked me up.  This is what it said...

Chubby Cheekers:  "Little Miss, you're staying with me, right?"

Geez, Chubby Cheekers, would it be so bad to just hang with your Mommy!?!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's Gone

Today is Little Man's first day of Kindergarten.  I'll update you tomorrow on how it was for our family.  You know, whether or not I held it together or was checked into the local insane asylum.

Summer break is gone.  It came and went faster than The Flash.  I'm bummed.  Certifiably bummed.  Little Man is at school all day, and we are locked into our school/sports/activities schedule.  The calendar is full, and it makes me long for the next break with all the kids.

At the beginning of summer the kids and I made a list of things we wanted to accomplish this summer.  We had so many good times, but we didn't get all our items checked off.  Mainly because of the heat and Chubby Cheekers.  He couldn't hack it and refused bottles while we tried to leave him with my mom.  Little stinker ;)  Here's what our 2012 Summer Bucket List looks like now...

  • pick berries
  • swim
  • ice cream
  • snow cones
  • Kiddie Park
  • Water Park
  • Splash Pad
  • park and picnic
  • baseball game
  • baking day
  • movie
  • pudding body paint
  • water balloon fight
  • aquarium 
  • get donuts
  • get cookies at bakery
  • zoo
  • hike (holding off until Fall)
  • swim lessons
Regardless of what we did or did not do, we were together. That's what mattered.  There were smiles and laughter everyday. That's what mattered.  That's what I love about my kids.  They wanted to be together.  No bummed faces for what we didn't do, just smiles for what we did.

Photo: Playing with poo! So fun.
{Pudding Paint.  We waited for the last days to do this one.  The kids' favorite by far.}

Good-bye Summer!  I won't miss your excessive heat, but I will miss the freedom that comes along with you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Pay Off

This week I've had to actually get out with all 5 kids.  You should see the looks, statements, and questions I get.  It's fairly comical.  Honestly, if I were to see me I'd probably ask some questions too...and stare...and chuckle.  Then I would walk away and say, "Wow!  Glad that's not me."  But, it is me and I kind of love it.  I don't love how much planning and preparation it takes to make appointments or how early I have to start to get the car loaded up, but there is a great pay off.  These kids have such a great relationship.

I've had the privilege of helping raise Chunky Monkey since he was 6 months old.  He and Little Miss have grown up like twins, and Little Man gets to grow up like a brother of twins.  They love each other so much, so when Mr. Fluffy came along I couldn't say it would be too much to have 5 kids.  Nope, I just realized that the first year would be difficult, but it would be so worth it.  Mr. Fluffy and Chubby Cheekers would have the opportunity to literally grow up together.  Two peas in a pod.  And look, they already love each other...

I may be biased, but this is the most precious thing ever. Period.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer Dates

This summer has been a memorable one. It is the summer before my oldest boy, the one who is my right hand man, goes to Kindergarten. It has also been the summer where two new babies have limited us a bit in the places we can go. Two babies on top of three other kids makes getting around a bit difficult. Thankfully, Little Man and Little Miss haven't lacked in the fun department.

Almost every week, my mom has taken the kids on either a date or come to watch the babies so I can spend quality, uninterrupted time with the older kids. Not only have the kids been blessed by this, but it's been a blessing for me too. I love watching the kids have such a special relationship with her. They get to see what an amazing mom I had growing up. As amazing as she was as a mom though, she is an even more amazing grammy.

As the kids last date of summer, they could have done or gone anywhere, but you know what they wanted to do? They only wanted to go to Grammy's house, ride bikes in Grammy's neighborhood, do the slip-n-slide in Grammy's backyard, and have lunch on Grammy's back porch. They just wanted to be around her. It wasn't about what they were going to do, or what they were going to get. It was about the relationship she has built with them.

Mom, I know you are reading this and I want you to know how much I love and appreciate your love and dedication to the kids.  Thank you for spending so much time with them, and giving them such great memories of summer.

Here are some of pictures of their last summer date...

Grampy decided baby oil would make the slip-n-slide that much better.  See ya' later kids!  You're going to be in the woods.

Yep, it's slippery!

Lunch.  Love Little Miss' attitude.  She's so gangsta.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Menu Monday

I generally don't dread things.  It's not my style.  But if I'm being honest, I've dreaded this week for about 5 years, 9 months, 17 days, and 1 hour 23 minutes.  Basically since Little Man was born I've dreaded sending him away to school.  I thought I had a lot of time when I was holding that little stranger in my arms, but I blinked.  I blinked and he grew up.  Now it's time to let him experience Kindergarten.

Thank goodness for moms.  I've talked with my mom about this about a gazillion times.  She gave me the best advice that has allowed all my tears to stay in when I get emotional about letting my little guy go.  Instead of focusing on my feelings and what I'm losing on his first day of school, I need to look at what he's excited about.  Little Man is so pumped to meet new friends, eat lunch at school, play on a new playground, go to art, music, and P.E., and show his teacher how smart he is (his words).  Seeing how happy he is about beginning school gets me excited for him.  He's going to do so well.

Enough of my emotional drama.  There are some other exciting events this week.  Like Little Miss beginning dance class today!  She's going to be so adorable in her little pink leotard, little pink tutu, little pink tights, and little pink slippers.  AND, Little Man also starts his first practice for flag football.  Yes, it's an exciting and crazy week.  I tell you all this so you understand the craziness of my menu.  Forgive me now.

Monday-Chicken Pesto Pasta, The Bread, Salad
Tuesday-Hamburger, Fries, Fruit
Wednesday-Croque Monsieur, Fruit Salad, Raw Veggies
Thursday-Man Pleasing Chicken, Baked Potatoes, Peas
Friday-Potato Kielbasa Skillet, Honey Crescents
Saturday-Tortilla Soup and Salad
Sunday-Oven Baked Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Corn

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chubby Cheekers 6 Month Edition

Hey Ladies,

I'm speaking specifically to the ladies, because I am officially six months old today.  I thought I'd give myself a little advertising for all of you out there.  First off, I'm luscious.  I've got rolls that will have you biting your lower lip.  My smile now contains one pearly white.  No teeth whitening for me. I currently live in a spacious and neat studio crib, and like to dine on fine milk.  Lately, I've been branching out and trying new fruits and vegetables.  Apples, bananas, carrots, avocados.  I can keep them all down. I am a bit of an adventurer, so you must be an 'on the go' gal.  In my spare time I enjoy explorations of my surroundings and I don't sit too well in one spot.  You'll need to keep up.

Even though I've teased you with my awesomeness, I need to share that I am currently not seeking any relationship other than the one with Mommy.  She is my main squeeze, but I just wanted to fill you in on what you could have with me.  I'm quite the cutie, or at least Mommy tells me that multiple times a day.  Once you hear something so often you tend to believe it.  So I'm a cutie, and you can't have me.  And just to seal the deal on my cutie patootie-ness, I'll add a picture of me fresh out of my long, warm bubble bath.  Oh, I'm also flexible...

Chubby Cheekers

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Baby Bullet. Let the Truth Be Told.

I am not an infomercial person.  I don't have a problem with wanting to impulsively buy items from random commercials, but there is one exception.

It was a late night.  Steven was at a fight night, and I was all alone, pregnant with the remote.  A pregnant gal can feel powerful with a remote...and a bowl of popcorn sprinkled with peanut butter m&m's.  As I was shoveling (it is honestly the only way to describe it) popcorn into my mouth, I paused from my channel surfing.  That was my mistake.

The infomercial was for this...

I watched that infomercial, for no lie, a straight hour.  I listened to the testimonials and was convinced that I NEEDED this adorable baby food processor.  All those cute little smiley faces with their cute little containers and their cute little freezer tray.  Let's not even get started on the spatula and recipes.  I. Was. Sucked. In.

I had really planned to buy this before Chubby Cheekers was of solid food age so I'd be ready, but time goes by fast.  I never purchased the Baby Bullet at the store where I had the best coupon, and I had fresh veggies ready to go.  Instead, I pulled out my food processor, steamed the carrots, and tried to liquify them.  No bueno.  See!  I really do need the Baby Bullet and their cute little faces, but it wasn't going to help me in that moment.  I had to make do with what I had, and all I had left was my blender.  And, guess what?  It worked just like the Baby Bullet.  At least what I saw on the infomercial.  I just saved myself $60!

I may not have the containers with those little smiley faces, but I do have some small mason jars and they work.  Thankfully, my senses came to me before I got sucked in to the infomercial world.  Can you imagine what would have happened to me if I had given in?  I could have ended up with a set of Trendy Tops, or a Pedi Egg, or the electric claw sharpener.  I'd better stop there.  I don't want to share too much.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Menu Monday

Why is it that when you blink, you're weekend is already gone?  We had quite the whirlwind of a weekend over here.  Steven's uncle from Chicago came with his wife, new baby, and nephew (Steven's cousin who is 6). We were very fortunate to spend lots of time all weekend with them.  Little Man and Cousin were especially fun to watch. It was a the first time I've had the opportunity to watch Little Man with an friend/cousin his age play all day and all night long.  Those two were nonstop.  Go, go, go until the crashed.  It was awesome.  Awesome until it came time for goodbyes last night.  Little Man was in tears!  That part was no bueno.  I hate watching little hearts break.  He hates goodbyes.

Since we had such a great time with family, I didn't get the menu typed out ahead of time.  Sorry it's a little late this morning.  I'm still on track for no repeat main meals for the month of August.  A few things carried over last week because I didn't make them.

Monday-Lemon Basil Pasta with Grilled Chicken, Salad, and Crescents
Tuesday-Eggplant Parmesan, Green Beans, Garlic Bread
Wednesday-Broccoli Chicken Casserole, Honey Biscuits
Thursday-Mexican Casserole, Corn
Friday-Fajita Bake (this has been on the menu labout 3 times and I have YET to make it) and Corn Saute
Saturday-Dry Rubbed Pork Chops, Potatoes Au Gratin, Salad
Sunday-Marlboro Man's Second Favorite Sandwich, Sweet Potato Fries

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Classy Consignment

I really can't believe it's time for the Rhea Lana of South Tulsa sale.  I've got all my items ready to go.  Remember, we're done reproducing over here?  We've decided our duty to help populate the Earth is complete. This means one thing.  I'm unleashing ALL of Little Miss' clothing birth-3 years old.  Many items still have tags on them!  Now, I'd like for you to go and BUY my items.

Kidding, you can buy other people's stuff too.  That's precisely why I love Rhea Lana.  It's like shopping at a store, because it's a STORE FRONT sale.  Not a warehouse where you will spend hours and hours searching for the right items, and then standing in a line that wraps around that said warehouse for a few more hours.  Like I said, it's store shopping.  LOVE IT.

Now here's how you love it too...

STEP 1:  We can have lots of fun.
STEP 2:  There's so much we can do.
STEP 3:  It's just you for me.

Wait a MINUTE...

I was a having a New Kids on the Block moment...

Let's get back on track.

Here's how you LOVE RL...

  • Get in your car.
  • Drive to The Shoppes at Regal Plaza @ 106th and Memorial (facing Hampton Inn)
  • Enter the sale.
  • Buy my stuff until your bag is overflowing.
  • Head home and feel good about your savings.
See?  Wasn't that simple?  Now here are the times for you to check out this sale...

Pre-Sale Day: 
Monday, August 13th (hint:  join the RL Facebook page for this pass)

Sale Days:
Tuesday, August 14th 9am-7pm
Wednesday, August 15th 9am-6pm
Thursday, August 16th 9am-5pm

Half Price Sale Days:
Friday, August 17th 9am-7pm
Saturday, August 18, 9am-2pm

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Splitting Up the Duo

I got the word today that Little Man's Meet Your Teacher day is next Tuesday.  All the prayers and decisions where he will go to school is coming to an end.  Another thing that's coming to an end is seeing these two side by side all day long...


As difficult as it is going to be for me to let him go all day long, it will be a big transition for Little Miss.  He is her best friend.  He takes care of her like a man would take care of a wife.  She is spoiled by him.  It's amazing to watch the bond they have.  I think that first day of school we'll have LOTS of activities planned to keep us both busy!  He's a special boy who will be missed tremendously.  

Monday, August 6, 2012

Menu Monday

I have bags under my eyes.  BAGS.  Big ones.  I cannot get enough sleep at night. It's not from my precious baby boy.  It's solely from the Olympics.  Whether it's those big 'ol weightlifting women or those bikini wearing beach volleyballers, I watch it all.  This is causing me to not go to bed until after 11pm.  That's late for me.  I wish I could tell my babies that I stayed up late so just sleep in a little bit in the morning, but funny thing about that.  It doesn't work too well that way.

You know what else doesn't work?  Telling dinner to make itself.  So I made a menu.  I'm trying hard this month to not serve the same thing twice, not including the sides.  We'll see how this pans out.

Monday-Dinner on a Stick, Buttered Bread
Tuesday-Meatloaf Minis, Mashed Potatoes, Corn
Wednesday-Broccoli Rice Chicken Casserole, Crescents
Thursday-Chicken Tortilla Bake and Spring Salad
Friday-Eggplant Parmesan and Garlic Bread
Saturday-Grilled Pork Chops, Broccoli Cheese, Honey Biscuits
Sunday-Dinner with Family

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chubby Cheekers

I'm 5 months.  More like 5 1/2 months.  Almost 6.  In baby years, I'm old.  I'm mature.  Could someone tell that to my mommy?  She keeps kissing my cheekers in public and pinching my rolls.  It's so embarrassing.

Now that I'm a seasoned baby I've developed some pretty great habits.  Like coughing.  I'm a great fake cougher.  At first Mommy thought I was getting a cold.  Faked her out.  I can do it on command.  It's freakishly awesome.  I can also screech when I'm mad.  Crying wasn't conveying how mad I was so I developed the screech.  It really puts the point on the exclamation mark, even if Mommy gives me an ugly face for doing it.

As far as my mobility, I've got it.  I can roll faster than fast, and I have learned to pull myself forward  by reaching my arms out and pushing with my toes.  I can get anywhere.  My favorite place to go is anywhere near my baby cousin.  He has the fluffiest hair.  I just want to eat it.  I love, love, love it.  Why Mommy pulls me away from him, I don't know.

I think that's all I've got going on right now, but I'll leave you with pictures.  I wouldn't want to deprive you of my cuteness.

Chubby Cheekers

{Me and my best bud}

{Spending my leisure time rolling in sister's sleeping bag}

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Random Thoughts on the Olympics

I love the Olympics like a fat kids loves cake.  Here are my random thought after hours of watching the actual games and commentaries...

  • My absolute favorite sport is women's gymnastics which should really be called Girl's Gymnastics.  Very few of them are women.
  • The new rule that the two top scores only per team advance to the Women's All-Around is ridiculous.  Let the best compete, not the best from each team.  This is the Olympics.  Watching Jordan Wieber cry was heart-wrenching.  She is a better than gymnasts than the other teams sending their two.  It just so happens two of her teammates are just as great.
  • I cry with the athletes as they win.  All that passion displayed with the realization that their hard work and sacrifice paid off.
  • I cry with the athletes that lose.  
  • I am an all around hot mess while watching these games.
  • Listening to all the personal stories is just as exciting as the actual events.  I guess I'm nosy, because I want to know it all!
  • Being a parent has me watching the parents of the the athletes.  
  • I want an Olympic Rings tattoo.
  • I don't understand why archery and shooting are apart of the Olympics.  Those are skilled activities not sports.  
  • Divers in skimpy speedos is just wrong.
  • If I were to enter in the Olympics, I would do gymnastics...or the high dive...or swimming...
  • I would not do water polo. I don't like to tread water.
  • I have many more thoughts, but the Olympics are on.